Yesterday I did one of those things in which you work on cleaning one room, only to destroy a different room. We worked on clearing out the media room of some random boxes and odds and ends. Some we got rid of, some went back to the basement, and the rest? The rest is sitting in the living room. Sigh.
I went through one box of odds and ends as Leo came walking through the room. I gave him a couple of things to go put in the trash. As he came back in the room I was sifting through the contents of a file folder. "I am chained by ephemera baby," I sighed. I showed him a couple of the old pictures of houses I used to collect, and the little booklets of marshmallow recipes from the teens, and the postcards of old roadside architecture. "I can't just throw these OUT, can I?" I asked him. He nodded and said, "Oh, of course not Mom. You'll find a place for him." (side note: I wish I could tell you how sweet and thoughtful and sympathetic my Leo is...I think I sometimes don't get that across...he's always the one to really ask how things are, or how I feel, or kindly give me the answer he knows I want...like 'of COURSE you can't throw those away Mom.'
He trotted upstairs after listening sympathetically. He and Owen are on a Star Wars Lego kick---a delightful by-product of the new movie. It's so nice to hear them chatting and working together. Anyway...as he went upstairs I closed the file folder and decided I would put it on a shelf upstairs.
Later, as Ernie and I binge-watched the first season of Mozart in the Jungle (utterly wonderful) I poked around on my laptop looking at houses for sale in Quincy. I tell you, it almost broke my heart.I found the listing for one of the houses I had seen in Quincy. It was most recently listed for $39,000. The pictures are old enough now tht you can see parts of it that are now gone. The whole neighborhood is full of houses for less than $50,000. When you look further in Quincy though, you can find historic homes in good shape for less than what it would cost to restore that. What hope does that house have. Oh, it just breaks my heart, and I can't put that house on a damn shelf as I can my file folder.
There are so many things in the world far, far worse than old houses rotting away without care but damn, they still break my heart. Despite all my goals to 'live in the moment', not be 'tied down by things', and the like.....I fear I will always find myself chained by ephemera and heartbroken by houses. They speak to me so loudly. They hit my heart the way Paul Westerberg's voice can. Yearning, I guess. Yearning.
pictures above from 2010 listing, picture below from this week. You can see the small porch on the front left has been torn off, more windows broken, etc.
Here's the Google Earth picture from 2012. Sniff.